Sydney Dance Company has scored a major success on its latest international tour of the USA’s East Coast. The company is presenting three of its recent hits – SDC Artistic Director Rafael Bonachela’s Frame of Mind, Jacopo Godani’s Raw Models and Gabrielle Nankivell’s Wildebeest – in New York, Boston, Swarthmore and Amherst.

SDC’s Izzak Carroll. Photos © Pedro Greig

Limelight caught up with Bonachela as the company arrived at the The Joyce Theater in NYC, regarded by many as the home of contemporary dance in the US. “Sydney Dance Company have performed there many times over the years and we feel so at home there, we always receive such a warm welcome,” said Bonachela, whose award-winning Frame of Mind is set to a the Kronos Quartet’s recording of music by Bryce Dessner (one of the leaders of American rock outfit The National. “Bonachela holds nothing back, hurling a blistering torrent of ferocious movement at the audience from the very beginning, matching the intensity of Dessner’s relentless music, wrote Limelight about its Sydney performances in 2015.

SDC’s Izzak Carroll and Janessa Dufty

The New York performances are the culmination of a tour that has gone down a bomb with American audiences and young dance students alike. So impressed were they in Swarthmore that a party of dance students ran backstage straight after the curtain calls and, after chatting with Bonachela and Company members, they insisted their head of dance open up the studio. According to SDC, they all went inside, stripped down to their underwear and started making steps.

SDC’s Izzak Carroll

The tour is the first for several of the younger SDC dancers. “The temperature went down to minus 12 in Boston, with the wind ripping through all the layers of clothes – it was just freezing,” said an SDC spokesperson. “Izzac Carroll, Nelson Earl and Josie Weise were delighted to see snow fall for the first time.”

The houses have been excellent, with many Australian ex-pats turning out to see the Company’s work. Ballerina Darcy Bussell made the trip over from London for a few days, especially to see the show.

SDC’s Rafael Bonachela with Darcey Bussell

“The response from US audiences has been overwhelmingly positive,” said Bonachela. “There’s never any mystery about what the audience thinks of the show. The audiences are always very enthusiastic and really let you know if they enjoyed a performance, lots of cheering, standing ovations and positive energy – it’s wonderful.”

Sydney Dance Company’s next Australian show is Orb at the Roslyn Packer Theatre, Sydney, April 29 – May 13 before tourng to Melbourne and Canberra